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'We fall to the bottom' - John Tamihere calls on iwi leaders to do more on low Maori home ownership rates

Maori social services provider John Tamihere is calling on iwi leaders to do more to get their people owning their own homes.

Currently 43 per cent of Maori own their own homes, compared with 70 per cent of Pakeha and 33 per cent of Pacific people, according to figures from Statistics New Zealand.

One family of 10 adults and nine children has just moved into a big nine-bedroom home in Ngaruawahia under a modern type of papakainga whereby homes are built on Maori-owned land.

Mr Tamihere, chief executive of the Waipareira Trust in West Auckland, says with the bulk of Maori living in cities the statistics on Maori home ownership won't be changed by new papakainga.

"God bless them, I mean, but it's a drop in the bucket," he told 1 NEWS.

Mr Tamihere says income levels, immigration, and a lack of supply all create a hostile enviroment for Maori home ownership and he's calling on iwi leaders to do more.

It's not enough. And we're working together to try and get some more money - Maori Development Minister Te Ururoa Flavell

"Because our own leadership is focused elsewhere rather than on their people, we fall to the bottom even further," he said.

The Turner family, who've moved into the home in Ngaruawahia, has taken out a loan, but also received more than $400,000 from the Maori Housing Network. 

It's part of a $32 million push to increase the supply of affordable homes because Maori home ownership has been falling fast since the 1990s. 

Maori Development Minister Te Ururoa Flavell says he's working to get more Maori owning their own homes.

"Is it enough? No it's not enough. And we're working together to try and get some more money not only in the Budget but also to draw from other ministries," he said.

While the Turners are happy new homeowners, it's still a rare achievement for Maori.

The Turners took out a loan but also received more than $400k as part of a push to increase the supply of affordable homes. Source: 1 NEWS